photo by Erinn Harris
TJ Media, including tjTODAY and Techniques Yearbook, went to the national Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) convention at Columbia University in New York City, New York from March 18-March 20. The students in TJ Media attended sessions for writing, design, reporting, photography, management and ethics. Both the newspaper and the yearbook were recognized for their work with Silver Crown awards, which is the second highest award given at CSPA.
The main focuses of the convention were writing and design. Senior Ruhee Shah, the Editor-in-Chief of Techniques, especially liked the thoroughness of the design workshops.
“The way it was presented was really comprehensive,” Shah said. “Instead of just staring at a page and wondering why the design looks bad, one presenter gave us solid techniques for fixing the design, and I hadn’t even thought of these techniques in that way or tried that method, so that was really helpful and definitely something I’ll use.”
For newspaper students, however, some found the writing workshops more relevant.
“The one session that I found especially interesting was ‘localizing and nationalizing news,’” junior Esther Kim said. “I think localizing national news is something that our publication should focus on more, especially with the big audience and a diverse community TJ is.”
Yearbook sophomore Brittany Csik, in addition to going to normal sessions, also went to a two-hour T-shirt and poster design session with yearbook maker Herff Jones.
“During our session we came up with an idea for a shirt or poster and on one side it was all of the things that non yearbook kids thought we do and then the things we actually do,” Csik said. “I just really loved how we started with one idea in the beginning and as we talked about it, it completely changed directions and we came up with something way better.”
The yearbook students also appreciated the time to work on their publication when surrounded by professionals.
“We had time to just work on our book without interruptions and with the help of Ms. Harris and other yearbook gurus, and I think we actually got a lot done,” Shah said.
Both tjTODAY and Techniques were proud of their Silver Crown awards, although both publication staffs plan to aim even higher in the future.
“I think it was a great accomplishment,” Kim said. “It gives me motivation to try harder next year and also celebrate the hard work that we have been doing.”